Islamists kill 54 Ugandan soldiers in Somalia

Islamists kill 54 Ugandan soldiers in Somalia

Noriko Watanabe, Kanako Mita, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Somalia and military airstrikes by America have witnessed various successes against al-Shabaab (al-Shabab) Islamists in recent months. Regional nations from the African Union also support central forces by sending peacekeeping troops. However, al-Shabaab is a very tenacious Islamist insurgency group that seeks the establishment of conservative Sharia Islamic law – and to be free from outside meddling.

Accordingly, the deaths of 54 soldiers from the peacekeeping forces of Uganda show that al-Shabaab can launch major attacks despite feeling under pressure.

Voice of America reports, “The toll is one of the heaviest yet since pro-government forces backed by the AU force known as ATMIS launched an offensive against Al-Shabaab last August.”

Al-Shabaab attacked the military base of Bulo Marer with a car full of explosives. This was followed by Islamists attacking Ugandan peacekeeping forces.

The Monitor reports, “It remains unclear why the troops, armed with two t-55 tanks, 14.5mm anti-aircraft guns and 107mm Katyusha rocket launchers, escaped to another UPDF base nine kilometers away.”

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said, “The mistake was made by two commanders, Maj. Oluka and Maj. Obbo, who ordered the soldiers to retreat.”

Hence, soldiers fled from al-Shabaab to a nearby military base.

In another military base attack against the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the UPDF in Baraawe repulsed al-Shabaab Islamists.

Unlike Amison – the predecessor of ATMIS – the 22,000 ATMIS force is more offensive-based militarily.

Somalian government military forces, loyal militias, and international support have repulsed the al-Shabaab in parts of the country. However, history highlights the flexibility of al-Shabaab Islamists. 

Accordingly, al-Shabaab – when under intense pressure – can melt away and launch hit-and-run attacks – or unleash terrorist attacks in Mogadishu and throughout the country.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News